Fred at a wedding
Fred's been to marriages before
(Though mostly to his own).
He stifles, if perhaps no more
Than other chaps, a groan
At tedium, cramp, a shirt too tight...
But shudders as he spies
The awful air of triumph bright
In all the female eyes.
And his discomfort grows profound
As if he had to view
A lot of lionesses round
A poor sod of a gnu.
De minimis non curat Fred
Or so he'll often boast
But some things send him off his head
That don't loom large to most.
Christmas comes but once a year
And as to what it means
To Fred, he's often made it clear
He sees two different scenes:
The first is when at Christmastide
And not engaged or wed
Girls go back to their parents' side
And leave a lonesome Fred
Who, with stout, claret, whisky, hock,
With Melton Mowbray pies,
With tins of tasty tongue in stock
Stretched on his sofa lies.
He doesn't shave. He reads a lot.
Soft jazz relieves the hush.
He hugs himself to think he's not
Out in the sleet and slush.
Holed up in his basement flat
Such simple joys suffice:
The thought of all the mishaps that
He's missing adds the spice.
Viz: Christmas trees, charades, church—this
All taking place amid
A rat-faced brother talking piss,
An ankle-kicking kid;
And worse !—Some solace, as he can't
Deny, may perhaps be found:
A bright and bodice-bursting aunt,
A sympathetic hound.
Fred's fair, so mentions this relief
But adds that, truth to tell,
Such interludes are rare, and brief,
And all the rest is hell.
He daren't drink suitably. Instead
His brain gets out of phase
He doesn't follow half that's said
He drags round in a daze . . .
Weeks or months, you'd think to hear
Old Fred, are thus misspent
Instead of just three days a year
—Not even one per cent!
Which a less fine-bred chap might stand
(Except when matters seem
So balanced that a grain of sand
Would make them kick the beam).
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